Check Out the Top Universities in the Netherlands

Some of the best universities in the world are located in the Netherlands. Discover all of the subjects offered by Dutch academic institutions.

Check Out the Top Universities in the Netherlands

Studying abroad can provide a singular and fascinating window into another culture. The top universities in the world are in the Netherlands, and many of its programs accept students from other countries. However, you'll have to acclimate to a new educational environment if you choose to relocate from abroad to study in the Netherlands. Continue reading to learn more about the numerous universities in the Netherlands, from prestigious institutions to specialized programs.

Studying in the Netherlands

Understanding the Netherlands' unusual educational system, which divides pupils into three tracks starting at age 12, is necessary for attending university there. Which are:

  • Four years are spent in preparatory vocational secondary education. Students can continue their studies in specific occupational programs after achieving this level.
  • Five years are spent on senior general secondary education. After completing senior general secondary education, students can enroll in a university of applied sciences. These tend to be professional, practical study programs that typically incorporate internships.
  • Students who finish the entire six-year university preparatory education program are eligible to enroll in research universities. These are often designed for students who aspire to pursue graduate-level education.

In most cases, attending a research university or an applied science institution is required to complete your studies in the Netherlands. Due in large part to the fact that many colleges there offer courses in English, the Netherlands is a very sought-after study abroad location. 40% of first-years were overseas students during the 2021 academic year.

Finding housing, unfortunately, presents one of the biggest obstacles to studying abroad in the Netherlands. It's a good idea to start looking early because university housing fills up quickly, and there is a shortage in many places. Some schools even forbid international students from entering the country if they haven't secured housing.

Universities in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has some of the most well-known universities in the world; when compared to its European neighbors, the Netherlands welcomed the fourth-highest number of international students in 2018. In the Netherlands, there are 13 research universities and 43 applied silence universities, most of which are funded by the government. Nevertheless, costs differ based on whether you are an EU citizen and the program you select.

Most of these universities provide three- to four-year bachelor's degree programs. Additionally, they provide master's programs, which take one to two years to finish. Doctoral programs can last between three and five years and are also widely offered. There are also several private colleges and universities in the nation, but because they are not government-approved or supported, they are free to charge more.

Top Universities in the Netherlands

Some prestigious academic institutions are located in the Netherlands. Two Dutch institutions were among the top 100, and seven were among the top 200 of the 1,500 universities examined for the 2023 QS World Rankings.

University of Amsterdam (UvA)

In the world, the centrally located University of Amsterdam (UvA) is ranked 58th. The UvA provides undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. It receives top marks in dentistry, sociology, psychology, political science, communication science, and media studies in the QS World University Rankings and ARWU rankings.

Its alumni are Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau, Guido van Rossum, Charles Michel, and the president of the European Council (Dutch Royal Family). Nearly one-third of the student body is made up of international students.

Delft University of Technology

The 61st-ranked Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a technical university in the city of Delft. Students can enroll in bachelor's, master's, or doctoral programs. Most of the programs offered by TU Delft are in the STEM sector and include engineering, industrial design, and nanobiology courses. Nuclear physicist Abdul Qadeer Khan and Prince Friso are former students (Dutch Royal Family). About one-fifth of the TU Delft student body is international.


Utrecht University

Utrecht University, located in the lively yet charming city of Utrecht, is ranked 112 worldwide. The institution provides bachelor's degrees in various fields, including law, media studies, the life sciences, and more, in addition to master's and doctoral programs. Princess Irene of the Dutch Royal Family, Willem Einthoven, the creator of the EKG, and Femke Halsema are all graduates of Utrecht (mayor of Amsterdam). The international student population at the university is about 16%.

Wageningen University & Research

The little town of Wageningen is home to Wageningen University & Research, ranked 124th globally. The college offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Their courses focus on soil, water, and atmosphere research, environmental and animal sciences, and food technology. Some notable former students include Emma Oosterwegel, Qu Dongyu, the director-general of the United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organization, and Jeroen Dijsselbloem, a retired politician and economist (Dutch Olympian). Nearly 25% of the student body is from abroad.

Leiden University

Leiden University, in the municipality of Leiden in South Holland, is ranked 131st worldwide. Leiden is a public research university that grants bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. The university comprises seven faculties, with particular strengths in law, anthropology, history, politics, and classics. René Descartes, a French philosopher, Rembrandt, a Dutch painter from the Golden Age, and Mark Rutte are notable former students (Prime Minister of the Netherlands). Leiden University enrolls about 5,000 foreign students.

Universities in the Netherlands for Educational Specialties

There are a few respectable universities in the Netherlands for persons with specialized academic interests. Even though many of these programs are taught (at least in part) in English, learning some Dutch is still advisable if you intend to use your degree in the nation. After graduation, you'll probably work in a Dutch-speaking setting and have additional alternatives for continuing study.

Medical schools in the Netherlands

The following are a few of the top medical schools in the Netherlands:

  • University of Amsterdam: This is one of the top academic medical centers in the world, and it is situated southeast of Amsterdam.
  • Vrije University in Amsterdam: This medical school, located in the southern part of Amsterdam, is consistently listed among the top 100-150 universities.
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam: The Erasmus Medical Center is close to Rotterdam's city center.

Business schools in the Netherlands

Listed below are some excellent possibilities for business schools:

  • Nyenrode Business School: The distance between Amsterdam and Breukelen, where this private institution is located, and Utrecht is slightly over 30 minutes by rail.
  • Rotterdam School of Management: This business school, a component of Erasmus University, is situated in Rotterdam.
  • Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences: East of Amsterdam, in the city of Apeldoorn, is where this university is situated.

Law schools in the Netherlands

There are some top-notch law programs in the Netherlands, many of which are taught in English. The following list includes some of the top law schools with English language programs:

  • Leiden Law School: In the QS World University Rankings for Law & Legal Studies, Leiden is ranked 21st, making it the best university in the Netherlands. Although they only offer bachelor's degrees in Dutch, they offer LL.M./MSc programs in European law, public international law, and a variety of advanced master's degrees in English.
  • Tilburg University: The southern Dutch city of Tilburg, which ranked first in the Netherlands for Times Higher Education Law rankings, offers a variety of English-language courses. They provide several master's programs in international law and a bachelor's degree in global law.
  • Maastricht University: The southernmost point of the Netherlands is where this university is situated. The European Law School, a three-year bachelor's program in law offered by Maastricht University, focuses on EU and international law. Master's degrees are also widely accessible.
  • Hague University of Applied Science: In the Hague, this university provides a four-year Bachelor's degree in European and International Law.

Final Thoughts

This is where we end our blog on the universities in the Netherlands. We hope you find this blog helpful. Moreover, you can also check out other valuable resources to help you achieve your dream of studying in the Netherlands. The top universities in the world are listed in the 2023 QS World Rankings. Furthermore, a government website for those who want to study in the Netherlands is called Study in Holland. The Dutch government's Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science pages on higher education.

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